Wednesday, March 17, 2021
We live in a day in which people do not have firm values and convictions. We have people that just want what they want. It doesn't matter their beliefs, it doesn't matter their convictions, they just want what they want.
Wednesday, March 17, 2021
We live in a day in which people do not have firm values and convictions. We have people that just want what they want. It doesn't matter their beliefs, it doesn't matter their convictions, they just want what they want. They will say whatever they need to say, believe whatever they need to believe, do whatever they need to do, to get there. We live in a day in which people lack convictions. So today, I want to talk to you about convictions.
What is a conviction? It is a concrete, immovable belief on a certain issue that you believe either this is the right way or this is the wrong way. It has the idea that you are absolutely determined and clear in your views on certain areas of life. In some areas of life that we talked about in our previous Life Lifter, you can have a personal conviction, but it's not an absolute conviction for everybody. Instead, here I'm talking about the convictions you have for your life. Do you have convictions in your life? Things that you will absolutely never do? Things that you will find acceptable to do? The Bible says having convictions will keep you from sinning.
I want to look at James 4:17. It says, "anyone that who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins." Anyone who knows the good he ought to do—that is, convictions—and doesn't do it, sins. By the way, that tells us that there are sins of commission, sins that you commit, and sins of omission, sins of something you should do but didn't do. So sin isn't only something bad that you do, but it can also be something good that you withhold or don't do. Here's the point. It says when you know what to do, and you don't do it, it's sin. And here's the thing, we should all have convictions, and then our convictions should lead to actions.
So, do you have convictions? Do you live by them? Is there a line you will not cross? Or, is there a line that you write in pencil so that you can use an eraser to move it when it's convenient? It's really tough, isn't it? It's tough to maintain your convictions all the time. Perhaps its convictions like "I will not lie." That's hard. Or, "I will not steal". Or, "I will not talk behind somebody's back." We have to have convictions and we have to live those convictions. So what convictions do you have? Are you living them? I will tell you this: sometimes living with convictions is difficult in the heat of the moment, at least in the short term, but in the long term, it's the only way to live. So I hope you'll live with convictions and I hope you'll have good convictions to guide you.
With that, let's pray. Father in heaven, I pray that you'll help all of us have convictions, convictions based on the truth of the Bible, and that you'll help us live them out every day of our lives. Help us to have lines we will never cross. Help us to have convictions on the truth that we will only try to live by the truth and that we will not live in lies. And when we violate those convictions that we'd have very short accounts with them. And I pray that we'll have well-drawn lines, clear lines that we don't even flirt with. We don't even get close. We don't even tippy-toe over the line just to see what it's like over there, but that we will stay far away from them. I pray that you'll help us do that because we will live a more satisfying life in the long run even if in the short run, sin is pleasurable. We thank you for this in Jesus' name. Amen.
I hope you are a person of convictions and that people around you see it in your life. Thanks and have a great day.
Friday, March 12, 2021
Today I want to talk to you about something that I know we all struggle with, and it's about being patient, specifically with God. We're going to look at Psalm 13 so we can gain a couple of 'truth nuggets' from this.
Friday, March 12, 2021
Today I want to talk to you about something that I know we all struggle with, and it's about being patient, specifically with God. We're going to look at Psalm 13 so we can gain a couple of 'truth nuggets' from this. Let me read this passage.
"How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me? Look on me and answer, Lord my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death, and my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,” and my foes will rejoice when I fall. But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing the Lord’s praise, for he has been good to me."
There are three main points that I see here. Look at verse one: "How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me?" What's he doing there? He's pleading to God. It's okay to feel the pain. It's okay to even have momentary fear within the circumstances. But cry out to God. Let him know where you are so that you can finally come to terms with that plea to God.
Then in verse two, there's something different. Then we ask God—we get more specific. He says, "Look on me and answer, Lord my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death, and my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,” and my foes will rejoice when I fall." Ask God specifically, just as Philippians says, "let your requests be made known to God."
Lastly, from verse three, is the truth about God. "But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing the Lord’s praise, for he has been good to me." At the end of the day, regardless of what happens, remember what you know is true about who God is. Remember what you know about the truth of God, even when the prayer isn't answered, and even when things get even more difficult. Remember what you know is true about God. So for today, I want you to remember those three things. Plead to God, cry out to Him, it's okay to feel it. Ask Him specifically for what you need. And third, remember what you know is true about Him.
Let's pray. Father, we know that life can get very, very difficult, and sometimes, Lord, we just need that extra amount of patience because we know our time is not your time. I pray that whoever's reading this would just have that encouragement and they would have the courage to plead to you and to cry out to you to ask you specifically what those needs are. And Lord, that we would remember what we know is true about you, regardless of how the circumstances play out so that we may always be encouraged. We thank you. In Jesus' name, amen.